(Editor’s note: As with all of Robin and Company’s adventures, this book takes place where the last one left off. If you haven’t read January’s book (#5) or did read it, but it’s been a long time since (and can’t remember what was going on), you will probably be confused at first. Hey, I’m a bit confused and I wrote this thing… Okay, let’s get this story started again…)
When Hawk and company got back to San Diego the hunt for Captain Marvin Webber (AKA Tom Jones) went cold. With all his couriers deceased, save for one Silver Fox, there was little information to help them discover his whereabouts. A thorough search of his house yielded nothing. Even Robin and Malissa came up blank.
“It looked like no one lived there at all,” Sgt Tinker said. “The Landlord is going to be very happy about not needing to clean up.”
“Yes”, Agent Taggart began, “Apparently Raven Corps has a better cleaning crew than the CIA.”
“Not to mention Captain Marvin Webber, alias Tom Jones. He’s a real pro. He wears gloves 24/7. If not for the coffee mug touched by his lips, he might have gotten away with much more,” Robin declared. “His ignorance of psychic abilities did him in.”
“I wondered how you were able to get anything off that cup. We knew Jones wore gloves all the time he lived in that house,” Agent Taggart remarked.
Lt. Hawk added, “Our forensic team couldn’t find even a partial fingerprint in that place. Of course, now that it’s been cleaned, repainted, and purged of anything that might have helped us, it’s like he was never there at all.”
“At least we stopped another Raven Corps cell,” Malissa said. “It gives me some hope for the future.”
“Not to be cynical,” Nancy began, “But, we do have to keep vigilant. It usually follows that when you stop one faction, another crops up.”
“Let’s hope that, whoever it is, they give us a chance to breathe before making trouble,” Yaneth said.
“Hear, hear,” Mac agreed, raising his tea glass in a toast.
After Stephanie had apologized and explained herself, Robin and Malissa paid to have her mother sent to Texas where Dr. Bryzinski and his clinic is having great success treating and shrinking cancerous brain tumors.
For the rest of Hawk’s Heroes, things fell into the normal routine of the homicide department. Robin and Malissa continued going through cold case files and solving them. Some were so old that the perpetrators were long dead, along with the survivors of the person who was murdered.
The end of January seemed to arrive too quickly. Sgt. Tinker was healed and back on duty. Malissa’s magic had worked very well on his body, healing him at an accelerated rate. Malissa had resumed teaching her classes, and the family was able to settle into a pleasant routine. Robin finally talked Nancy into having a house concert. She was a bit nervous, but came through in spite of everyone being there.
After the Concert they were all sitting on the porch enjoying the fresh night air:
“It’s hard to believe that it’s February first, already,” Nancy commented.
“Yes,” Lt. Hawk said, “but it certainly was a pleasant way to start the month. You definitely have a talent for the piano, Nancy. Thank you for sharing it with us tonight.”
“Robin had to talk me into it. In the beginning I was very nervous, but after a while I got lost in the music and just played from my heart.”
“Well, it was truly a wonderful experience,” Malissa said. “I remember playing my violin with you accompanying me.”
“I didn’t know you played the violin,” Robin began, “In fact, I haven’t seen you pick one up since I’ve known you. Do you still play?”
“I don’t know. It’s been so long, I’m not sure I could remember how.”
“I know what you mean,” he replied, “I used to play guitar and bass. Even though I can still tell the difference between them, remembering how to play is a whole other ball game.”
Ray spoke up: “I played oboe and clarinet in high school and college. I still play once in a while. It helps me relax.”
“Mac was a percussionist,” Malissa offered, “Weren’t you?”
“Yeah. It gave me something to beat on besides people.”
“You’ve never beat on people for no real reason,” Nancy chided, “…and I’ve known you for quite a few years.”
“No, but sometimes I’ve felt like it.”
“I think we all have felt that way at some point or other,” Lt. Hawk added, “Having to deal with kids who raised themselves, and their disrespect…”
“Don’t get me started, Hawk,” Frank said. “The students get worse every year. Not only is every other word a curse word, but they all sound like English is a second language for them; and they didn’t bother to learn it very well.
“The worst part of it is that we aren’t allowed to correct them on it because it might hurt their delicate feelings. The school won’t even allow us to use red pens to correct or point out spelling mistakes.
Worst of all, I sometimes feel like I’ve gone from professor to babysitter.”
Mac shook his head, “Too true, but once in a while, someone like Stephanie walks into my classroom. It makes it all worthwhile.
“In fact, I have several students that I’ve managed to collect into one class who keep me on my toes. While they are with me, they are civil, respectful, attentive, and willing to learn. Outside my classroom, they may revert to the Lord of the Flies or screaming monkeys, but while they’re in my class, they seem to really want to learn.”
Malissa laughed and nodded her head, “Most of my students come to my class because it’s an easy grade. The 4.0 students don’t have to work as hard as in some of the other sciences, so they are able to maintain their “A” standard.
“It’s true that some of the underachievers think that just by showing up they can raise their grade from a “C” average, but they soon find out that I do require they at least pay attention to the lectures or they won’t pass their tests. Plus, I tend to get a lot of athletes who need the grade if they want to continue to play their sport.
“The smart ones take the harder classes, so I end up with the kids that have an allergic reaction to academics; that’s not to say some of them aren’t actually interested in the class. I get my share of good students too; of course, many of those are looking for answers to their own paranormal experiences. Hopefully, they will learn something new.”
“Unfortunately,” Robin started, “We’re not going to solve all their personal problems today - especially when the schools reinforce their bad behaviors - So, I think I’ll go to bed.”
“I’m tired too. Two more working days before the weekend,” Malissa said as she stood up. “Goodnight everybody.”
“Goodnight, kids,” Nancy said. “By the way, I managed to get some blueberries from the market, so I’m making blueberry pancakes for breakfast.”
“Yum… Thanks mom.”
Robin and Malissa went up to their room. They had set up the portable Faraday cage earlier. After they were ready for bed they crawled into the tent and closed the entrance.
After a minute or two: “I thought you were tired,” Malissa said.
“Well, there’s tired, and then there’s ‘dead’ tired. Do I look like a zombie to you?”
“No, but you do seem to be stiffening up.”